Tuesday 8 May 2012

...tractors, stationary engines and automobiles...

Owing to the constant rain - alternatively Norfolk farmers delight - this May's 37th Stradsett Park Vintage Rally had to be cancelled at the last minute. All aboard for a peek at last year's rally by the vicarious route of my sketch book and trusty dip pen... 
Massey - Harris 744D - Pen & Ink and Watercolour
 ...I turned up at the 36th Stradsett Rally armed with easel, chair and drawing board ready for business. Half an hour later I was back at the car - too many people. I exchanged my easel, chair and drawing board for my trusty pencil and sketch book.  
Setting up camp amongst the parked cars I was spoilt for choice. I first drew a Sixties Bubble car, then an old Morris Minor followed by a car that I admit I don’t know the name of - but it certainly looked like the older, bigger, cooler cousin to the moggy.   
No idea what this is - anybody? - Pencil sketch

Ok, so maybe I could have held out longer. 
The temperature was dropping - I abandoned my pencil and sketch pad for my digital camera. I do prefer to draw from life, but if this is not practical, photo reference is great - and sometimes the only way.  
I entered the three black and white pen & ink tractor drawings into the Downham Art Circle spring exhibition. I had planned to paint them but owing to time limitations - I done run out of it - I was happy to exhibit them as they were. 
Besides, I always love the dynamic tension of black on white!
Ferguson TE-D 20 - Pen & Ink

I had a craft stall at the Hilgay Vintage & Country Show last August, and gave my tractor cards and drawings pride of place. Although I had drawn the three tractors, I confessed I had no idea of their identity.  
I needn't have worried. It wasn't long before veteran tractor enthusiast - Ted - was busily describing their pedigree. Even going that extra country mile to point out that I had neglected to include the crankshaft hole at the front of the Ferguson TE-D 20.  
(Now that's a coincidence - Ted's name and the Fergie name, though I expect Ted - bless him, was more like a spritely 70...)

Stationary engine - Pencil sketch

I hastened to add that I had spotted the crank hole while painting the original and added it accordingly - Ted gave me a wry smile and looked unconvinced... 
I subsequently contacted those nice people at  Classic Massey & Ferguson enthusiast magazine, and editor Scott Lambert - always with an eye for good artwork - kindly included a review of both myself and my tractor illustrations. A tip of my hat to you Scott!
All in all a good day's work and pleasure at the Stradsett Rally - see you next year!

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